Russell Simmons, a hip hop and fashion mogul who has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, demanded an apology from the candidate’s husband on Thursday after he lashed out at Black Lives Matter protesters at a campaign event in Philadelphia.
“The small drug users who were diseased and locked away deserve it? Bill Clinton u owe the black community and black lives matter an apology,” tweeted Simmons, who co-founded Def Jam Recordings and fashion designer Phat Farm.
Simmons, who endorsed the former first lady last month, was responding to Bill Clinton’s comments to Black Lives Matter protesters who disrupted his speech on Thursday.
Activists have criticized the Clintons for their support of a 1994 crime bill that put more cops on the streets and increased sentencing provisions, including those for drug crimes. The Clinton administration’s support for a 1996 welfare reform bill has also been a point of contention.
Hillary Clinton has also been hammered for her remarks in 1996 about “the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.'”
“We have to bring them to heel,” she said at the time. Many have interpreted the comment as being racially charged.
The 69-year-old former president had apparently had enough of the protesters’ antics at Thursday’s event.
“I like protesters, but the ones who won’t let you answer are afraid of the truth,” Clinton said.
“This is what’s the matter,” he said later, pointing to the activists’ signs. “I don’t know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-olds hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the street to murder other African American children. Maybe you thought they were good citizens.” (RELATED: Bill Clinton: Black Lives Matter Defends Black People Who Kill Other Black People)
“You are defending the people who kill the lives you say matter. Tell the truth. You are defending the people who cause young people to go out and take guns,” he continued.